Gas Tax Fund to support local infrastructure priorities in the Town of Watson Lake
Five projects are underway in the Town of Watson Lake following the allotment of more than $1.65 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund.
With this funding, the Town of Watson Lake is buying new heavy equipment for road maintenance, installing a new groundwater monitoring well at the sewage lagoon and remediating the Brownfield area downtown.
Purchases of a new road grader and a new gravel truck with a plow will replace old equipment and help the Town of Watson Lake maintain its roads year-round and ensure public safety. This equipment will also allow the town to rehabilitate the existing road systems to address damage caused by weather and changing seasons. In addition, the Town of Watson Lake will purchase a new boom mower, which will help the municipality keep the solid waste facility and roadways clear of grass, willows and other trees.
Installing a new groundwater monitoring well for the town’s sewage lagoon will meet Government of Yukon’s requirement as part of its water licence renewal.
The Brownfield Redevelopment Project includes the demolition of the Watson Lake Hotel and several other buildings. Once the clearing and remediation of the site is complete planning for future projects will begin. Future development ideas may include a larger visitor information services facility, expanded signpost forest and increased recreational vehicle services for visitors to the community.
All of the projects began in October 2019 with completion anticipated for March 2020.
These infrastructure projects in Watson Lake will result in a safer, cleaner and healthier community for residents. These improvements will better the quality of life for northerners and provide more economic opportunities for the community in the years to come.
Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell, on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna
The Gas Tax Fund is a reliable source of funding for municipalities to meet their local needs. It is great that the Town of Watson Lake is replacing aging road maintenance equipment, installing new protection for the environment and preparing to revitalize its town centre. These projects will create local jobs, provide an economic boost and lay the groundwork for expanded visitor services and attractions.
Minister of Community Services John Streicker
On behalf of the Town of Watson Lake, we would like to thank and acknowledge the contribution to our infrastructure, aging equipment fleet and community beautification via the federal Gas Tax Fund. The community of Watson Lake is aging and these contributions will help our citizens with clear winter roads and clean drinking water for years to come. The fund is also helping us clean up our community in hopes of becoming a more attractive community to tourists.
Mayor of Watson Lake and Council Cheryl O’Brien
- The Government of Yukon administers the federal Gas Tax Fund, which allocates funding to Yukon’s eight municipalities, 14 First Nations and unincorporated communities for local infrastructure projects.
- Town Centre Brownfield Redevelopment – $500,000 – The Brownfield Project will involve clearing and remediating the area, demolishing four abandoned unusable buildings, including the Watson Lake Hotel, and removing underground storage tanks, contaminated soil and other materials. This project is being done in cooperation with Liard First Nation.
- Road grader replacement – $395,000 – The new road grader will replace aging, unreliable equipment. The town will use the new road grader to ensure public road safety by maintaining its existing road network. The grader will also help repair the road damage caused by changes in climate
- Plow/gravel truck replacement – $350,000 – The new gravel truck with plow will replace aging equipment that needs frequent maintenance and repairs. In addition to road maintenance, it will also haul gravel, sand and cover material year-round to support the town’s utilities, solid waste and public works operations.
- Boom mower replacement – $35,000 – A new boom mower with new features will be used at the town’s solid waste facility and along the town’s roadways. The new equipment will help the town manage the continual growth of vegetation that contributes to unsafe road conditions. As well, it will allow the town to comply with the conditions of its solid waste licence.
- Groundwater monitoring well – $65,000 – The Town of Watson Lake is renewing its water licence for the next 25 years. A condition of the renewal was the installation of new groundwater monitoring wells at the town’s sewage lagoon facility. The groundwater monitoring wells will monitor and identify any possibility of seepage from the lagoon into the town’s water table.
- The 2019–20 Gas Tax Fund allocation for the Town of Watson Lake is $827,711. The town is also receiving an additional $827,711 top-up as announced in the federal 2019 budget, for a total of $1,655,422.
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